Jarod Roselló is a Cuban-American teacher, cartoonist, and writer, born and raised in Miami, Florida. He is the author of the graphic novel The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found and the webcomic Those Bears. He teaches fiction and comics in the creative writing program at University of South Florida and is the founder of Bien Vestido Press, a small press dedicated to publishing comics and zines by Latina/o artists and writers.
Hi, I’m Jarod. I draw comics. I have a book, The Well-Dressed Bear, that was published last month by Publishing Genius Press, and a I do a webcomic, Those Bears, for Hobart. I’m in the process of launching Bien Vestido Press, a small press for comics, zines, and other visual work by Latina/o artists and writers.
This week, I am home from work taking care of my son who was born four weeks ago. I have a four year old daughter, too. She and I make a lot of monsters together. This week, we are really into: Halloween prep, spaceships, people turning into monsters, and drawing maps. So expect more of all that.
My daughter just turned four. Four weeks ago, my son was born. I haven’t been sleeping well. Because I am so tired, I don’t take my daughter to the park or out for long bike rides. Instead, we play inside games where I lie on the floor beside her holding the stuffed animal I am supposed to play as until she gets bored.
Today, I made her a pinwheel out of orange construction paper, a pencil, and a thumbtack. She threw it on the ground, because what was that thing? I wanted to be mad, but it was a shitty pinwheel and I was too tired to care, anyway. I forgot about the pinwheel, and soon it was dinner, then bath, then bedtime.
At some point in the night, she snuck out of bed and found me sitting on the couch in the living room. She crawled into my lap and said she was sorry for throwing the pinwheel on the ground. I kissed the top of her head, and she said, “Spending time together means more than making things.” I’m not sure I know what she meant, but I know she was right. She’s always right.
Working on a new comic, The Well-Dressed Rabbit. It’s basically a retelling of my first book, but with a rabbit instead of a bear, and this time the rabbit is a detective.
I’ll be pitching this book to Publishing Genius Press later this week. If you could email them with requests for rabbit-themed books, then I think this book stands a chance.
When we first moved to Florida, I thought we would spend a lot of time outside.
But it’s too hot here. And it’s too rainy. And there are too many mosquitoes.
The neighborhood kids scream bad words and get into fights in my front lawn, and now three houses on my block have yellow eviction notices taped to the front doors.
But the aquarium is nice.
I couldn’t get my son to nap well today, so I wasn’t able to write or draw anything. My daughter took a late nap and I didn’t have the energy to wake her, so against my better judgment, I let her sleep.
Now it’s nearly midnight, and both of my children are sleeping at the same time and I’m trying to at least draw something because on days like today, when im not feeling so well, not feeling like im doing a very good job, drawing makes me feel okay.
I wore the baby in a carrier, and like this I was able to write for a bit today. Also, he slept soundly. I was soothed, too, by his body pressed against mine. Your children take so much from you, but when you hold them close you get some of it back. Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote today: “The Well-Dressed Rabbit recalls a time when he was just a bunny, when he crawled too close to the edge of the cliffs and his grandmother had to scoop him back before he fell. She said, “Mind the edge.” The edge: where one thing ends, where another thing begins. Where something ceases to be and another begins anew. Or: where life just snuffs itself out.”
So ends my residency. Here’s something I made today that was created and developed throughout this week.
Natalia Castells-Esquivel is a writer from Mexico based in Atlanta. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published in places like Santo y Seña, Loose Change, and Thought Catalog. She is currently a copywriter, Editor of Community Engagement for RealPants, and cofounder of StoryDrop, a city-wide literature collaboration. Also, she makes really good scrambled eggs. Really.
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